26" touring wheels
So I don't know a whole lot about wheels but need to get a set for my MTB tourer. I was thinking of a Rhyno-Lite wheelset, since that seems to be a common setup, but the only prebuilt 36h versions I've found online are from Harris Cyclery & they don't have them in black, which I want. There are plenty of 32h sets around for as little as $70 (w/Deore hubs and the 20% Nashbar discount). There are 36h Ditch Witch wheelsets at Nashbar for super cheap, too, but I don't know how suited they are for touring. I hear everyone say how you should get hand-built wheels but most of the LBS around here just want to order them from QBP, or wherever, anyway. Would it make any sense to buy a cheaper machine built wheel (for 1/3 the cost of the custom wheels) and then have checked for trueness locally (or learn how to do it myself) or should I just pony up a couple hundred dollars more for the extra 4 spokes and hand-built? I'm trying to be frugal with my buildup but will spend the money where I need to. What do you all think?